Welcome to the Gun Show, Part Five: Registration, Regulation and Stockpiling

CRYSTAL LEO

General Manager


In his promises to reform gun control, President Biden campaigned on the agenda that he would “Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act.” Biden’s online manifesto claims that, since the National Firearms Act requires individuals who possess machine-guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles to undergo a background check and register the weapons, that those weapons are “rarely” used in crimes.

However, a quick search on the internet with the subject “short-barreled rifle” quickly turns up a post on the United States Department of Justice’s website where one man, Julian Burmado, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif., was arrested and convicted in February of 2020 of possessing firearms not registered to him in the National Firearms Registry because he was caught unlawfully manufacturing short-barrel rifles.

Still, Biden wants to “pursue legislation to regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act.”

Registrations only work for those who lawfully register their guns. Needless to say, it’s less likely for criminals to register a gun because they know that if the weapon is associated with a crime that it can then be traced back to them. If a percentage of the population is already breaking crimes, and possibly using weapons to do so, why is Biden so sure that they would then become law abiding citizens and register their weapons?

Directly under that statement on his agenda are his hopes to buy back assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that already exist in communities around the United States. “Biden will also institute a program to buy back weapons of war currently on our streets. This will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.”

One can imagine that there are some individuals in this country that would be willing to sell their weapons back to the government. Usually, the perk of this program is that the buy-back take place with government entities and no questions asked of the citizen. Which more or less means that as someone sells their gun to the government that individual does not have a background check ran on them, nor do they have any checks done for hard criminal inquires.

In other words, someone with pending warrants can walk up and sell their gun to the government, and the government entities buying that gun are going to let them walk out of that exchange without putting handcuffs on them.

Even more disturbing are the estimates of what a buy-back program could cost the nation.

The Institute of Labor Economics once estimated the cost of a national buyback program aimed at the types of handguns most often used in violent crime at $7.6 billion dollars. Note that this buy back program is aimed at handguns rather than assault weapons. Since handguns cost less than assault weapons, one can only imagine what a buyback on assault weapons might cost if it were successful.

Yet, the program’s success would depend wholly on the notion that the individuals committing crimes would sell their guns to the government. If the nation cannot trust that individual to not commit a crime, why in the world should we trust that they would turn in their guns?

Some might argue the other side of Biden’s plan, which is that someone can keep their gun and choose to register it instead of selling it to the government.

Frankly, the same issues would still remain. Someone who is out committing crimes is not going to register a gun that can be traced back to them from any crime scene. Instead, they are going to do what they have always done, which is buy firearms that are being stolen and/or sold illegally and then keep that firearm unregistered. Just because they are criminals does not mean they are stupid. Why tie their name to something that helped them commit armed robbery or homicide when they can keep it unregistered and let law enforcement play guessing games instead?

The next goal in Biden’s agenda is to “reduce stockpiling of weapons”. Quite possibly the only reasonable bit of gun reform Biden has proposed. This would restrict Americans from buying more than one gun a month. That means every citizen can purchase up to twelve guns in a year, by buying one gun a month. Even gun collectors should be somewhat appeased with this since, in large part, it does not hinder them from acquiring for their collection.

The main potential downfall for this bit of reform would be that if an individual was at a travelling gun show that is visiting their area only once a year, they would be limited to buying one hard to find gun instead of two or three hard to find guns.

If enacted and passed, this reform would potentially curb the collection of guns for suspected radical groups who might be considered a danger to the public at large. At least, that is the thought logic behind the reform.

Reality is this: any citizen without a criminal background in that potentially “radical” group can buy a weapon once a month. So, if you have twenty members eligible to buy a gun, then your group as a collective can buy twenty guns a month.

So much for slowing down the stockpiling.

Most of what Biden proposes so far has been the sort of reform that is based on fear instead of logic and statistics, the type of changes that individuals who do not own, or perhaps are not comfortable being around firearms, might consider the best form of action.

True reform to change America and its plethora of violent crime should come from those who are not afraid of guns, willing to look at all the statistical evidence and are quite possibly gun owners themselves. It should be in the form of what will not hamper a law-abiding citizen from protecting themself or their family. And it most certainly should not but citizens who are willing to abide by the laws of this country at a disadvantage to those who care not for the laws of this country and are willing to do anything to acquire what they want.


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